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Psychological tough love

I’ve been a psychologist for almost 50 years, and two things I’ve learned about human nature: 1.) we are creatures of habit, and 2.) habits are stubborn. When dealing with anxiety, depression, and emotional struggle in general, there is nothing more important than to understand how the entrenched habits of insecurity have come to contaminate our potential for happiness and solace. Unfortunately, when someone tries to change, they typically fall short of breaking the emotional habits that are holding them back.


In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss why people are stubborn when it comes to doing what’s necessary to change. And it’s this stubbornness that requires a more direct and honest confrontation—a confrontation of tough love.

In my estimation, therapy is too passive. In order to challenge the often, life-long habits fueling struggle, there’s no room for coddling. What’s needed is 1.) an understanding of “why” we struggle, and 2.) a self-coached, assertive approach to developing a more psychologically mature willingness to do what’s necessary to change—really change!

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